Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC) in Luang Prabang, LAO PDR and PhotoForward announce the opening of a new exhibition, Caregivers to Culture Keepers: Stories from Women in a Changing Laos, in Luang Prabang on 7 October 2014.
Eight Community Researchers from the Stitching Our Stories (SOS) project have taken the lead in investigating and documenting healing, handicrafts, and childrearing within their communities. SOS trains young women and girls in the art of storytelling and gives them a range of tools to tell their stories from their own perspectives. Over two years, young women from the Hmong and Tai Lue communities in Luang Prabang have documented their communities and built a collection of photographs, video clips, and interviews about women in Laos today.
From this amazing collection, the exhibition, Caregivers to Culture Keepers: Stories from Women in a Changing Laos, will explore women’s lives from the perspective of young ethnic minority women. The exhibition will feature SOS photographs, seven short documentary videos, and objects including batik-making tools, divination horns, and traditional baby carriers.
Beginning in 2012, TAEC and PhotoForward have worked together to reach young women in ethnic communities. The first year, Hmong youth learned about digital media and storytelling. In the second year participation expanded to include Tai Lue women and girls. The SOS project provides the tools and support for these young women to investigate and reflect on their culture. Serving as community researchers for this exhibition, these women actively foster the revitalization of ethnic traditions and identity.
The Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre is home to a rotating display of informative and engaging exhibitions, offering a rare and fascinating insight into the diversity and richness of Laos’ ethnic cultures. Our exhibits feature objects from our museum collection, such as traditional handmade clothing and textiles, jewellery, handicraft and household tools, reconstructions of domestic scenes, as well as ritual and religious artefacts. A distinctive characteristic of TAEC’s exhibits are its linkages to local ethnic communities – displays feature quotes, photos and videos from our living resource persons.